Getting rid of the dreaded muffin top
In my last post, I was talking about the dreaded ‘muffin top’ that seems to appear as if by magic with the menopause. Scratch the usual recommendations that we need to do 30 minutes exercise a day over five days a week! The research shows that a middle-aged or older woman with a normal BMI needs to maintain her weight by carrying out the equivalent of 60 minutes a day of moderate physical activity.
When you sit down and think about it, that’s a lot of exercise for our hectic lifestyles :(
With that in mind, here are some more practical ideas to help you try to prevent middle age spread:
- Try interval training – walk briskly for 100 meters then jog for 100 meters or ramp it up and jog for 100 meters then run for 100 meters. Ensure your heartbeat is raised. Remember you must be huffing and puffing
- Set yourself a goal of competing in a local road or cycle race
- Try out bootcamp with a personal trainer
- Take the stairs rather than the lift
- Walk to the shops rather than driving
- Increase resistance exercises to build lean muscle mass. Try a weight training session with an experienced trainer. You don’t have to end up looking like a bodybuilder, and an increased lean muscle mass is also associated with decreased insulin resistance, helping prevent diabetes
Starting a daily exercise regime is probably the easiest way forward. Although it can be incredibly hard to find time for exercise, try to rethink your daily schedule. Set your alarm for 30 minutes earlier, and remember to get your exercise gear and your clothes ready for work out the night before, so it’s easier to just get up and get running. I put mine next to my bed and put the alarm clock well away from where I can hit the snooze button.
Investigate lunchtime sports available near your workplace, or if there are any activities after work. Consider whether you can take a shorter lunch break, and finish work a little earlier to squeeze your workout in.
Walking isn’t the most efficient exercise to help with weight management, but try getting the family together on a weekend to go for a hike or even a bike ride. Not only is it good exercise for you, but it makes sure that everyone in the family is undertaking regular physical activity while making the most of ‘family time’.